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How to: Write Goals

Consider the following questions when writing goals: What exactly are you trying to accomplish? How will you ascertain if you are successful or not? Is it a realistic goal? Does this goal fit into a larger, broader mission? How much time do you need?

Published on: May 13, 2021
girls playing soccer

Writing Goals Right

When you do a Google search on how to write goals, SMART goals pop up frequently. SMART is an accronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound
Goal worksheet
Exactly what are you trying to accomplish?

Be as specific and detailed as you can. Consider your motivation. Do you need help from others? 

How will you measure your progress?

Qualitative Examples

  • Journal writing
  • Surveys with comments
  • Selecting a face from a smiley continium

Quantitative Examples

  • Checking a calendar
  • Placing pennies in a jar
  • Clocking hours
  • Attaining benchmarks
  • Mastery assessment
Are your goals realistic?

Do you have the background skills necessary to accomplish your goals? If not, can you obtain them? Also consider if your goal is worth the effort.

How does this goal fit into the big picture?

Consider whether or not your goal is helping you to obtain a larger objective. Also consider the timing. Do you really need to work on this goal at this point in your life?

How much time is needed?

Is your deadline realistic? Can you set timelines for benchmarks along the way to make sure you are on the right track?

laptop on desk

Once you have considered answers to the SMART goal characteristics, it’s time to write you goal. Fill in the blanks in the template below and get started achieving your goal.

I will ____________ at ___________ in _____________.

             (your action),        (time of day),             (location)

To measure my progress, I will___________ and review this

                                                     (measurement tool),

every __________ until ___________.

         (measure of time)           (deadline)

I will _______________

               (your action)

at ________________

              (time of day)

in ________________


To measure my progress, I will


       (measurement tool) 

and review this every _____
        (measure of time) 

until ______________.


I will ____________ at ___________

             (your action),        (time of day),             

in _____________.


To measure my progress, I will___________

                                                      (measurement tool),

and review this every __________

                                          (measure of time) 

until ___________.   (deadline)

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”

Andrew Carnegie

Need More Resources?

Informational Goal Types Description

Printable Goal Worksheets

Pretty Goal Trackers

runner finishing race

I finally accomplished my goal of finishing a half marathon after starting and stopping training due to injuries.

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